Schubert & Tchaikovsky Works for String Quartet

Founded by experienced chamber musicians steeped in the standards and style of the classic Russian school, the Kopelman Quartet carries forward a rich inheritance of technical excellence, lyricism, grace and musical integrity. Mikhail Kopelman, Boris Kuschnir, Igor Sulyga and Mikhail Milman all graduated from the Moscow Conservatoire in the 1970's, this institution's golden age, when the students regularly worked with musicians and teachers such as David Oistrakh, Boris Belenky, Yuri Yankelevich, Fyodor Druzhinin, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich and Natalia Gutman. These strong musical influences have remained with the members of the Kopelman Quartet, even though they pursued individual careers for twenty-five years before founding the quartet in 2002.
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Stark and steely is the opening outcry of the Kopelman Quartet’s account of Schubert’s Death and the Maiden. Passionate and remorseless, the Kopelman shows how well Schubert fuses all this material as the music swings like a pendulum from protest to rhapsody with the detail of emphatic motifs shared by instruments in turn. The exposition repeat seems different: the opening more declamatory, the second theme more a sad recollection of happiness than reliving it. This account is both moving and disturbing.
The first movement of Tchaikovsky's String Quartet No. 3 is unusual in that its contrasting central section is longer than its outer episodes. The Kopelman introduce it with a warm gravity, but there's soon the passion of protest. The first violin melody which is the nub of the outer sections is rich and emotive, grows in passion, sinks back exhausted but continues to repeat its essence. This is all achieved with movingly poised playing. Musicweb-international

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